Refusal Skills

Refusal skills are ways to say no when someone is pressuring you to do something you don’t want to do. They can help you avoid the pitfalls of drugs. To develop effective refusal skills, you need to know why you personally don’t want to use drugs. Make a list of your values, goals, and priorities and why you don’t want drugs to be a part of your life. It can also be helpful to think of situations you could be in when you will have to use these skills. People use refusal skills more often than they realize, like when your parents ask you to do chores you don’t want to do or when your brother wants to eat at Chipotle but you would prefer Chick-fil-a. Developing refusal skills for drugs may be more intimidating than these situations, but it can be done. It can often be uncomfortable because peer pressure is often more likely to come from a friend than a stranger.

Think of a realistic situation you could face in which you would need to use refusal skills.

What if you are at a friend’s house, they show you they have a Juul and offer it to you to try? Think of a response that fits you and your personality. It can be as simple as “no thanks” or you can blame your strict parents and say and you don’t want to get in trouble.

Whatever you decide to use, make sure you are true to yourself and what you want. You can always leave a situation you are uncomfortable with.  Many teens will make a code word with their parents or other friends for when they want to leave a location or get out of a situation without any questions asked.  Think of what your code word could be.